Bra Making Tools Checklists (Lite & Expanded Checklists Included)

bra-making-tools checklist basic bra making tools what tools do I need to get started in bra making

Welcome to the fifth post of “The Complete Guide to Bra Making” series. This post will cover the tools you will need for bra making. There are two checklists available: a lite version and an expanded version.

The lite version will provide you the bare minimum you need to get started in bra making.

The expanded version will provide you with optional tools you can invest in to make the craft of bra making easier.

(Note: This post contains affiliate links. Clicking and purchasing item(s) will result in a small affiliate commission for me. Please note that most of the items listed on this page are tools that I personally use and recommend.)

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bra making tools checklist basic bra making tools what tools do I need to get started in bra making

Bra Making Tools – Lite Checklist

  1. Sewing Machine (Straight Stitch & Zig Zag Stitch required)
  2. Schmetz Stretch Needles
  3. Schmetz Universal Needles
  4. Fabric Scissors
  5. Polyester Thread

That’s it. You can get started with bra making with just the above five tools. If you sew, you probably already have most of the items above.

If you are already along your bra making journey and are looking to invest in further tools to make bra making easier, below is an expanded checklist. I’ve highlighted the items that I think are most useful to have in your bra making tools arsenal in the Helpful Notes section at the end.

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Bra Making Tools – Expanded Checklist

Machines, Needles, Thread & Pins

  1. Sewing Machine (Straight Stitch, Zig Zag Stitch, & 3-Step Zig Zag Stitch)
  2. Serger
  3. Schmetz Stretch Needles
  4. Schmetz Universal Needles
  5. Polyester Thread
  6. Silk Pins

Cutting

  1. Fabric Scissors
  2. Rotary Cutter (comes in 18mm, 28mm, and 45mm)
  3. Self-Healing Cutting Mat
  4. Duck Bill Scissors
  5. Embroidery Scissors
  6. Pattern Weights or Washers

Drafting & Marking

  1. 18 inch Clear Ruler
  2. French Curves
  3. Styling Design Ruler
  4. Flexible Curve Ruler
  5. Tracing Paper
  6. Oak Tag
  7. Fabric Marker
  8. Fabric Chalk

Pressing

  1. Press Cloth 
  2. Tailor’s Ham 
  3. The Knob
  4. Bust Cup Seam Press

Shortening Underwires

  1. Wire Cutter
  2. Heat Shrink Tubes (to seal the ends of underwires after you cut them)
  3. Heat Gun (to shrink the heat shrink tubes)
  4. Two-Part Epoxy (another method to seal the ends of underwires after cutting them, hat tip from Grow Your Own Clothes)
  5. Table Vise (to hold the underwires in place while you cut them)
  6. Protective Eyewear (highly recommended so flying underwire pieces can’t hit your eyes)

Other

  1. 505 Fabric Adhesive Spray
  2. Fray Check

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Helpful Notes

What kind of Sewing Machine do you use?

I personally sew on an industrial Juki and a Bernina 530. I’ve also used the Pfaff Passport 2.0 in Bra Making with Madalynne’s classroom and I really like how quiet the machine is.

What kind of Serger do you use?

I usually don’t serge my lingerie projects, but I do use an industrial serger (also a Juki) from time to time. I’ve also used the Brother 1034D before and quite like it.

Besides the 5 basic tools, what are the other 5 items that you can’t live without?

Here are my picks:

  • 505 Adhesive Spray: This spray will become your best friend. It’s a godsend. Great for basting fabrics together. Some lingerie fabrics are tricky to sew and behave a lot better after you spray baste them.
  • Duck Bill Scissors: These scissors have a multitude of functions: you can use them to grade a seam, trim a neckline, or reduce bulky seams. For lingerie sewing, you can use it for appliquéing and reducing bulk. The duck bill shape allows you to trim very closely to a seam without cutting the fabric underneath.
  •  28mm Rotary Cutter: Rotary cutters are great for cutting out your bra pattern pieces because they can maneuver tight curves effortlessly. Out of the three sizes (18mm, 28mm and 45mm), the 28mm is my favorite because it can handle a variety of fabric thickness and its size is great for handling curves.
  • 18-in clear ruler: This is an awesome tool to have in your sewing arsenal for all kinds of pattern drafting. I use it to add seam allowances and elastic allowances. It’s also reasonably flexible so you can use it to measure curves as well.

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Final Note

If there is anything you think I’m missing from the expanded list, feel free to share in the comments below!

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6 Comments

  1. I have both the “knob” and the “bust cup seam press” and LOVE them both! For bramakers in the US, who might be interested in buying the “knob” or the “bust cup seam press” — Camille of SweetCupsBraSupply sells these items (she’s one of Beverly’s / Bra-Maker’s Supply US based product distributers & teachers) and you can save a LOT on international postage by buying from SweetCups! She even has a 25% off sale currently going on, but be quick because it ends today (2/15) and the shop will be closed for a few weeks afterward as she recovers from surgery. Camille is super nice and rather all-around awesome!

  2. Thank you very much for linking my shop to this post. I’m very glad to have come across it actually, as I’m just heading into the world of sewing lingerie and want to stock up on supplies. There are so many gorgeous pieces on your website that will be great for inspiration also 🙂

  3. Pingback: Emerald Erin

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